24 April 2006

Birthdays by Union Guy

My parents had their birthdays back in April so we decided to celebrate when they were here with us.

Union Guy is famous for his creative decorated cakes. He made this one for Mom and Dad who, fortunately for him, have a good sense of humor. :)

Siding started today!

Siding Man was here today and got LOTS done for one day's work!

It looks absolutely awesome. I hadn't really even looked at the colour of the siding since I picked it from a batch of colours on a website ... it looks like a Tim Horton's Iced Cappucino. :) A lot got done today - I am really impressed.

It's also really nice to come home and have the sun still be up and shining, everything bright and starting to turn green.

23 April 2006

Spring Break

Yesterday was my brother in law's graduation: he now has a Bachelor of Arts degree, which is a major testament to commitment and perseverance! We counted it up yesterday - he has taken classes at six different schools over the course of seventeen years, endured two "dean's vacations", and made six separate starts and is now an official graduate. It is so great to see him so happy. He sure worked hard for it!

Spring break is over, and my parents have been here for the week doing all sorts of useful things. As you can see, we now have tile on the backsplash in the kitchen, and door handles on the cabinets. The microwave is also mounted on the wall, although we still have some additional work to do to stabilize it completely. The walls that are up all have stain on them, and the bathroom walls are almost completely finished. We moved the outlet and adjusted the height of the bathroom lamp, so with just a bit more effort we'll have that room all complete.

Dad just finished installing a handle in the trap door to the crawl space, and Mom is upstairs packing. We have had a busy week, but lots got done!

15 April 2006

More wood...

We are not really paying much attention to the holiday this year, but happy Easter to all. :)

We've spent the weekend so far working very hard. On Friday, we did allow ourselves the luxury of sleeping in, then we worked on the chicken coop - half of the shed is being converted to chicken housing, so we got started on that: insulating the walls and raising the floor at one end (which will make it easier to muck out the bedding, as well as keeping it a bit warmer).

Friday night I worked on the walls inside the house - I got wood on the walls by the stove as you can see, and got it stained as well. While I had the stain out, I did a few other places around the house that hadn't been finished yet, too.

Today I worked on several of the smaller jobs - there were a couple of places that needed long boards cut lengthwise to fit, so I got out the jigsaw and did those. While I was doing finicky cutting, I put wood up on the wall above the kitchen cabinets. I did go outside and get the more stable ladder for these jobs - the one that was already inside is terribly rickety and a bit nerve wracking to stand on.

As my parents arrive tomorrow, I also thought I should get things just a little tidier (mostly as a safety concern ... I know where all the bits and pieces are, but with guests in the house it should be a bit cleaner). I picked up the small bits of wood that are good for nothing but fire fodder and put them into a contractor's garbage bag, swept up sawdust and mud, and sorted through all the other bits of offcuts and leftover boards. The Boy did a wonderful job cleaning up the upstairs, and swept a massive quantity of dried mud from the front entrance. We are still most definitely an active construction zone, but not quite as dangerous a place as we were.

12 April 2006

A couple more pictures

Hey, picture uploads are working tonight!

In the loft, you can see The Boy in his bed, showing off his room - the back wall is about one third done, and the loft railing is finished all the way around. The Boy also tidied everything up and got some space cleared for his grandparents, who arrive on Sunday.

This is the hallway between the loft and the main floor - The Boy stained these walls and did a marvellous job. The boards don't go all the way up the dividing wall, nor all the way up the back wall, but it is a start.

Not much additional work happening tonight - it's been a long week for me at work, and I will be here sawing and nailing and staining all of Friday and Saturday, so I think I can swing a night or two without construction. The Boy and The Dog are outside running around - they've gone down by the creek to play a bit, and were followed by the cats. My goodness they look adorable.

Yup, this is why we moved out here.

09 April 2006

Hard work, but plenty of progress

This has been an amazingly busy but very productive weekend.

Let's see, what all did we do?

Well, Union Guy got the dishwasher hooked up and therby earned himself the Hero of the Day award. It's amazing how much time is actually spent washing dishes! It's so nice to be able to just tuck them in there, out of sight, and deal with them all at once at some point later in the day.

Union Guy also got the light in the hallway wired up: it has a three way switch so it was a bit different and required an extra trip to Home Depot to get the right kind of switch. Once we had that, of course, things were much simpler.

Also, at one point this weekend, I got the lazy susan installed in the corner cupboard. It wasn't as tricky as it looked from reading the instructions - once I actually sat down and just did it, it worked. It was a lot like knitting socks for the first time: the pattern looks daunting and nigh on unintelligble, but if you just trust the instructions and knit faithfully, you end up with what you were hoping for.

(There is probably some profound life lesson in there, but I'm not going to pursue it.)

I got boards up in the stairwell - not all of it, but you can't peek into the bathroom anymore, so that's an improvement. :) The dog can't climb between the studs into the storage room under the stairs now, either, so the pet food is safe from marauding beagles.

Last night we visited with the Cousin Neighbours, the oldest girl had a birthday that we were helping to celebrate. We had a barbecue by the fire, and lots of caesar salad and potatoes and corn, and delicious carrot cake.

Today The Boy and I worked very hard: he stained the boards in the hallway, and I got wood on the inside of the loft wall, all the way around. The piece between his room and mine is also insulated, as the sound seems to bounce through that wall quite readily: I wake up several times a night hearing him brush his covers against the wall or kick the boards as he rolls over in bed. This should improve the peacefulness of my nights!

We also got boards on the wall behind his bed, up to the height of the top of the window. I was attempting to post pictures, but the lag in my connection speed seems to be interfering, so I'll try again tomorrow.

We were trying to get the upstairs ready as The Grandparents arrive next weekend (oh my how did it get to be nearly Easter already?!) ... and they will have to sleep on an air bed in the loft, so we thought it should be a bit nicer for them. My dad will know at a glance that it was a rookie doing these jobs ... he's much more of an expert at all this house stuff than I am, and actually so is my mom ... but they are good about accepting the efforts of a novice who at least has the basics down. Besides, trim hides a multitude of sins ... I'm counting on it!

I'm hoping my dad will tile the kitchen backsplash while he is here - he's
much better at that than I am ... hmm, I guess that means I should go buy tile!

At the moment, though I am filthy - sweaty and covered in sawdust with heaven only knows what stuck in my hair - so I am off to hit the shower and then collapse into bed.

08 April 2006

And here we are, on a Saturday morning..

Here we are, on a Saturday morning, with a slightly overcast sky and lots of work to be done.

The Boy had a sleepover last night with our Cousin-Neighbours, and is there playing Lego still, so all is quiet. With him gone, I was able to work late into the evening - clattering and banging and sawing and nailing.

I am about to embark on that adventure again but thought I'd post a picture of the other living room wall before I start. The boards haven't been stained yet, so they are a bit light yet, but you get the idea.

07 April 2006

More walls are in place

I'm too worn out to post much, but I thought I should get a new picture up here at the very least.

The other east-west living room wall is now complete (well, the portion that goes along my bedroom closet and the bathroom), and the space behind the refrigerator. I also got some of the finicky 'small walls' done where things go at an angle and mitre cuts are required. Not bad for an evening's work.

More tomorrow, hopefully.

02 April 2006

Lots of hard work ... and something to show for it!

It has been a very busy weekend!

I gave Saturday to The Boy: I arranged a field trip to a rabbit breeder as part of our 4H project, so first thing in the morning we picked up the other rabbit project member and headed off for our visit. The rabbitry wasn't large or fancy, but the lady has won lots of prizes: apparently breeding rabbits is a lot like breeding show dogs, but without the obedience training. :) We had lunch back here in our blessedly functional kitchen, then went outside and worked on Cappucino's hutch. The kids were using the handsaw and hammering nails and generally having a nice time. It was sunny and warm, so it was the perfect day to do that kind of job.

Union Guy came out to stay with us on Saturday night, so we did not go to The Big City this weekend at all. This means, among other things, that I have a pile of laundry, which will be deposited at the laundromat tomorrow morning on my way to work - there is a place not far from my office that will wash, dry, and fold your laundry for you. Given the amount of work that the house needs right now, it seemed like it would be worth the money and hassle (rather than going to town and doing the wash myself). With Saturday gone to 4H, I had to dedicate today to the house.

We did take the time to go for a walk by the creek this morning, which was fun. The boys waded in, breaking the ice with their rubber boots, and I followed along the bank, ready to rescue anyone who doused themselves. My services were not really required, though - I didn't end up rescuing anyone but a single kitten who had crossed on the ice and then discovered that her return path had disappeared after the boys got through crunching the ice underfoot.

Once back at the house it was time to get down to work. Union Guy headed to town for his swimming lessons and The Boy went out and burned our paper trash and some of our scrap lumber. He had things burning in the fire pit for most of the morning, and started it back up again for awhile in the afternoon - the trash was all burned by then, but he was enjoying the fire, I think. :)

As for me, I got into my work clothes and started putting boards up. I was very tired of feeling like nothing "visible" ever got accomplished, so I decided to work on something I'd see a lot of. About 2/3 of the front wall is covered in boards now. I did the bit by the patio door on Friday evening, and the rest of it was today's accomplishment.

As you can imagine, after all that cutting, climbing, nailing and staining, I am a mess and in desperate need of a shower and my bed. :) Off I go!